CFPC Health Care News Release

April 8, 2011

TORONTO, April 8, 2011 – The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) today called on all federal political parties to put more emphasis on health care during this general election. While encouraged by some of the health care issues addressed in party platforms, the College and its 25,000 family physician members and the 30 million Canadians who are their patients would like to hear the positions and perspectives of all parties regarding the following CFPC recommendations:

1. By 2020, every Canadian should have a personal family physician.

2. Canadians must be assured of ongoing funding to address priority health system needs, including those in primary care, beyond the expiry of the Health Accord in 2014.

3. A pan-Canadian health human resource planning infrastructure must be established to prevent future shortages of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.

4. Wait times must be reduced, including wait times for emergency care, to find a family doctor, and for referrals from family doctors to more specialized services.

5. Medically necessary home care and drugs should be included under Medicare and the Canada Health Act.

6. There should be support to help family practices across Canada serve as examples of the Patient’s Medical Home—a model focused on ensuring timely provision and/or arrangements for provision of all family practice and referred medical services that patients need.

"A Patient’s Medical Home is the family practice where a patient feels most comfortable—most at home—to present his or her health and medical concerns," explains CFPC President, Dr. Robert Boulay. "It builds upon the strengths that exist in current family physicians’ practices in urban and rural communities."

The College’s Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Cal Gutkin adds, "It is where patients, their families, and their personal caregivers are active participants in the decision-making and provision of their ongoing care. It is defined by its patient-centered approach and is the heart of a patient-centered health care system."

The CFPC will be releasing a paper on the Patient’s Medical Home that will propose ten goals, each supported by a series of recommendations, including:

  • Every person in Canada should have a personal family physician practicing in a well-supported medical home model.
  • Teams or networks of health providers should work together with the patient’s family physician (located in the same setting, in the same community, and/or virtually) to provide comprehensive medical and health care services for patients.
  • Nurses/nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other members of the medical home team should be encouraged and supported to develop ongoing professional relationships with patients to ensure continuity of care, which is proven to produce the best health outcomes.
  • Patients’ Medical Home practices should adopt same-day scheduling to ensure timely appointments with the patient’s personal family physician and/or other appropriate members of the medical home team.
  • A Patient’s Medical Home should contribute to meeting the public health needs of the patients and populations it serves, through primary and secondary preventive care, health promotion, chronic disease management, and the delivery of public health information and services.
  • System supports must be in place for every family practice/medical home to facilitate the transition from paper records to the introduction and maintenance of electronic medical records (EMRs).
  • The Patient’s Medical Home should be supported to serve as a training site for future family physicians and other health professionals, and as a laboratory for practice-based research.

Canadians have identified health care as a top issue; the CFPC looks forward to responses regarding the above issues from each political party during this election campaign. 

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